Gardaí in Westport are appealing for witnesses to a fatal road traffic accident which claimed the life of an 81-year-old Louisburgh man and former hotelier.
Derek Taylor from Cahir, Louisburgh died in Mayo General Hospital early on Sunday morning after he was involved in a single vehicle collision at Gloshpatrick, Westport while driving his Toyota Avensis car along the main Westport to Murrisk road on Thursday at approximately 3pm.
Mr Taylor, the sole occupant of the car, was rushed to Mayo General Hospital suffering from serious injuries. He was placed in Intensive Care, but he died due to his injuries on Sunday morning.
Mr Taylor was well known in the Louisburgh area due to his involvement in the tourism sector in the town. He previously owned both McDermott’s Hotel and also the Killadoon Beach Hotel, now known as the Ocean Lodge Hotel.
A native of Lemington Spa in England, he married his wife, Phil (nee O’Malley), from Killadoon before moving from England to Enfield in Co Kildare, where they bought a farm in the 1970s. They moved to Louisburgh in the late 1970s after they bought McDermott’s Hotel, which is now known as the West View Hotel. In the early 1980s, they sold the hotel before buying the Killadoon Beach Hotel, where they worked until their retirement in 1991.
Mr Taylor was predeceased by his wife in 2005, and he continued to live at his home in Cahir, Louisburgh. The news of the car accident and Mr Taylor’s subsequent death came as a huge shock to the local community. He was regarded as a very healthy and active person who looked younger than his years.
Louisburgh-based councillor Austin Francis O’Malley described Mr Taylor as a gentleman and said the whole community was shocked at the tragic death.
“Only Thursday last I saw him crossing the street in Louisburgh, and he was as fit and healthy-looking as ever. I would describe him as a gentleman, because any time you would meet him he was always jolly and you’d have the craic with him. It was a great shock to all the community, and must be a great shock to his family,” he said.
Gardaí are investigating the circumstances of the accident and are asking anybody who may have witnessed the accident to contact them in Westport Garda Station.
Mr Taylor is survived by his three daughters, Marie, Ann and Jackie; sons, Mark and John; brothers, sister and grandchildren. He will repose at Sweeney’s Funeral Home in Louisburgh, tonight (Tuesday) from 5.30pm, with removal at 7pm to the Church of the Holy Family, Killeen, for Mass of the Resurrection at 7.30pm. Cremation will take place at Mount Jerome Crematorium, Dublin, on Wednesday at 3.30pm.
Meanwhile gardaí are also investigating a single road traffic accident along the N59 near Kilmeena when a car left the road on Friday morning at approximately 9am. The driver who was the sole occupant of the car received minor injuries.